At its Wednesday night meeting, the Associated Students Legislative Council passed two position papers that focus on Residence Hall Association (RHA) procedures.
The first resolution discourages the RHA Coordinating Board from continuing to bar resident assistants who are also members of Leg Council from voting on financial matters at the RHA Coordinating Board meeting. The Coordinating Board is a representative council for residence halls. The second resolution asked the Office of Residential Life to continue to allow non-RHA solicitors access to residence halls. The resolution comes after recently proposed amendments to the RHA constitution.
Rep-at-large Kristen Ditlevsen said the exclusion of RAs from voting on RHA financial issues is unfair because although they are not technically paying residents, the services RAs lend to RHA are equivalent to paying residential fees.
On-Campus Rep Raymond Meza said members of A.S. should be able to vote on all A.S. issues.
Council members also passed the resolution expressing their disapproval of the proposed RHA constitutional amendment to ban non-RHA groups from soliciting in the residential halls. On-Campus Rep Justin Pabian said members of the RHA proposed the amendment because many solicitors do not ask for permission before approaching residents.
“RHA is unsatisfied with the solicitations,” Pabian said. “They are having problems enforcing their own policies.”
The council’s resolution against RHA’s amendment stated that it would hinder students’ knowledge of campus activities. It would also prevent candidates running for A.S. from getting proper exposure from students, thus resulting in a uniformed student body and a lower voter turnout rate, the resolution said.
At the meeting, council members also approved the ballot language of an A.S. Student Lobby lock-in fee, and debated removing a council member, but ultimately decided against it.
Some council members said Off-Campus Rep Ivan Rosales should be removed because he had several unexcused absences at A.S. meetings.
But Ditlevsen defended Rosales, saying he was an important asset to Leg Council and only missed meetings for academic reasons.
“In our legal index, it says school comes first,” Ditlevsen said. “Who do you think is going to come in and do a better job?”
A.S. President Cervin Morris said he found the discussion disheartening.
“Damn, you guys are making me sad,” Morris said. “It looks like ‘The Apprentice’ in here. Don’t vote him off the planet.”
Pabian, however, said Rosales deserved to be removed.
“If you run for a position, you know when meeting times are and you should have planned classes better,” Pabian said. “I don’t think you’re an asset if you aren’t here.”
In his own defense, Rosales said he planned to correct his past mistakes.
“I’m at fault for having bad communication, but I personally do not want to be removed,” he said. “I’m planning to come to meetings and have a proxy [when absent] for the rest of the quarter.”
The motion to remove Rosales failed with 13 members voting to keep Rosales, five members abstaining, and Pabian being the sole vote to remove Rosales.
A few minutes after the voting had ended, Rosales left the meeting before it had concluded and proceeded to go to a class.
For the upcoming elections, Leg Council approved the ballot language of an initiative for an A.S. Student Lobby lock-in fee. Student Lobby would receive $0.69 per undergraduate per quarter if the initiative passes in the upcoming elections.
Kelly Burns, A.S. Student Lobby vice chair, said the additional money was necessary for the group to continue fighting against rising student fees and decreasing financial aid.
“We’ve grown three times in size . . . [and] we couldn’t get the money from the Finance Board,” Burns said.